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Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh my... Gates calls on Syrian army to stand aside and let Assad be overthrown

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called on the Syrian army to stand aside and let Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be overthrown.
Drawing a parallel between the unrest in Syria and the protests that unseated Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president, Mr Gates said: “I’ve just come from Egypt, where the Egyptian army stood on the sidelines and allowed people to demonstrate and in fact empowered a revolution. The Syrians might take a lesson from that.”

His comments came as thousands of people marched on Thursday in Deraa, southern Syria, where at least 44 people are now thought to have been killed in a week of protests, and as Mr Assad announced salary increases and promised greater freedom.

“I would say that what the Syrian government is confronting is in fact the same challenge that faces so many governments across the region, and that is the unmet political and economic grievances of their people,” Reuters quoted Mr Gates as saying during a trip to Israel.

The Obama administration has been careful to avoid the language of regime change when dealing with the Middle East and it was not clear if the White House shared Mr Gates’s sentiments.

Barack Obama, US president, has argued that the two key principles the US is backing are respect of universal rights and non-violence in dealing with protesters.

With the exception of the case of Col Gaddafi, the US has not explicitly called for any of the Arab world’s leaders to leave office. The administration insists it is popular will, rather than the US’s opinion, that should determine the fate of the Arab world’s leaders, while maintaining alliances with strategically important countries.
Barry Rubin argues that Gates' statement is against White House policy.
Was he reflecting White House orders on this point? Possible but I doubt it. Let’s see if the president says anything about Syria. The White House did strongly condemn the Syrian government’s “brutal repression of demonstrations.” But that’s the kind of language routinely applied by it to lots of countries. Will anything about the U.S. conciliatory effort toward Damascus change? Senator John Kerry, chief appeaser of the Bashar al-Asad dictatorship, will no doubt go on doing so.
Professor Rubin also argues that the Syrian army is most unlikely to pick up on Gates' suggestion.
As for Syria, can anyone tell us why the Syrian army will stand by the regime? Okay, I’ll do it. Syria is run by the Alawite minority who simply aren’t real Muslims but pretend to be Shia when that suits them. The Alawites know that a revolution would almost certainly produce an Islamist takeover and certainly a Sunni Muslim one. And such a regime would line a lot of the Alawites up against a wall and…bang, bang, bang.

That’s a good incentive for shooting down unarmed demonstrators. Kill or be killed.
I sure hope they have a way to get US diplomats and dependents out of the newly revamped Damascus embassy quickly if necessary. Remember Tehran?

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At 12:02 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yup. The Alawite regime is not going to give up power.

In the Middle East, minorities who do that face extinction.

Assad may be a thug and a mass murderer but he's not a fool.

He won't betray his own clan to make Robert Gates happy.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Moriah said...

Does this mean they are going to come to the Syrian protesters rescue with the new Obama/Soros Doctrine of:
"Responsibility to Protect?"

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

If the allawites give up power, the Brotherhod will take over and will exterminate the allawites.
Paybacks a bitch

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Talk about devil's advocate! Obama and co leading the onslaught to chaos and apocalypse!!


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